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Monday Kickoff: Rooney accepts ban; FIFA execs dispute Blatter; and more


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While many players would take the option of appealing such a ban, Wayne Rooney has accepted his punishment.

The Manchester United captain has accepted his three-match ban for a red card issued to the forward in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over West Ham. Rooney, who will miss clashes with Everton, West Brom and Chelsea, was sent off for a tackle on West Ham’s Stewart Downing.

“It was probably the right decision,” Rooney said said. “I saw the West Ham player making a counterattack and I tried to break up the play, but I just misjudged it.

“I understand it,” he added. “I knew at the time that I misjudged it. It is a red card and I don’t think it will benefit anyone to appeal against the decision.”

Rooney will be eligible to return to the Manchester United lineup on Nov. 2 against crosstown rivals Manchester City.

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:


Days after the FIFA president came out and denied the presence of requests for the release of private reports, members of FIFA’s Executive Committee remain furious.

According to reports, members of the committee repeatedly requested the publishing of reports regarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in a meeting Friday. However, according to Blatter in a statement released shortly after, no requests were made and the results would remain private.

A FIFA exec revealed that Blatter’s claims that there were no requests was simply “a bunch of rubbish,” while also pointing out that Blatter sought to diffuse the situation by agreeing to ask a FIFA ethics judge to submit a summarized version of the report to executives.

FIFA’s head ethics judge, chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert, insisted last week that the reports would be private.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic has has one of the most illustrious careers in modern history. However, despite collecting countless league titles and individual awards, the Swede has always missed one title on is resume: Champions League winner.

Ibrahimovic’s best chance came with the 2010 Barcelona team, who fell in the semi-finals to the forward’s former club, Inter Milan. The current PSG forward, who has had a longstanding feud with former manager Pep Guardiola, has hinted that the Spanish manager should be blamed for Barca’s disappointing defeat.

“We had the best team in the world, for sure. But we failed to win the Champions League because of bad decisions from someone,” Ibrahimovic said.”But it’s like that. It’s nothing to complain about today. You have to forget it because I had great moments at Barcelona.

“I’d be very happy if I could win it, of course,” Ibrahimovic said of the Champions League. “After your career, you look at how many trophies you have. If I win, it’d be great, if not, it wouldn’t be a failure.”

Ibrahimovic’s PSG return to Champions League action Tuesday with a visit from Barcelona.


While almost any team in the world would see improvement with the addition of Eden Hazard, Paris-Saint Germain have always been the one most heavily linked to the Belgian star. However, Hazard himself is not as keen on a move back to France.

Hazard, who moved from Ligue 1’s Lille to Chelsea in 2012, says he will not move back to Ligue 1 unless it is to play with Lille, ruling out a move to powerhouse PSG.

“When I left Lille, I wanted to leave France, so I couldn’t have signed for PSG,” Hazard said. “Every year I’m the priority of PSG. But I’m at Chelsea and this is where I want to grow. This is the most important.

“Never say never, but if I came back to Ligue 1, it would be with Lille, the team I support and I still love.”

Hazard did go on to admit that PSG are one of the world’s top clubs, but the Chelsea star went on to say that the French powerhouse has more to do to join the continent’s elite.

“Today, Paris is in the same world as Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern [Munich],” Hazard said, “but if they want to be part of the best, they must win the Champions League.”


Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp and Mats Hummels insist that the German powerhouse will find their form as the team’s stars return from injury. (REPORT)

Manchester City’s Joe Hart is set to return to the lineup for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Roma after the English goalkeeper was an unused substitute in the last two matches. (REPORT)

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has defended Steven Gerrard from critics attacking that Liverpool captain. (REPORT)

Inter manager Walter Mazzariri accepts blame for his side’s 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Cagliari. (REPORT)

Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke could make his return against Manchester City next week after missing time since April due to an achilles injury. (REPORT)

What do you think of Rooney’s acceptance of his three-match ban? Will the reports ever be released? Where do you stand on the Guardiola-Ibrahimovic feud? Are PSG one of the world’s top clubs?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. Cross-posted from a posting from yesterday (SBI page 2) fyi.

    The only item I found abut the Brooks situation in German newspapers was the article linked to by SBI, and commenter bryan as well, from yesterday’s issue of the Berliner Zeitung.
    That article stated, or rather predicted (a newspaper opinion) something. The German words: auf etw. verzichten were used, the English translation:: to dispense with, to waive, to abandon, to do without something (or someone). The Berliner Zeitung predicted: “As soon as this Wednesday Luhukay will waive (abandon, dispense with) John Anthony Brooks”. Notice that they did not say “may”.
    If it was only a matter of Brooks’ being demoted to the reserve team they would have said that. But they didn’t. So yes, the Berliner Zeitung is predicting that Brooks will be let go completely by Hertha Berlin as soon as this Wednesday.

    • If he truly does get released, then it leads me to speculate something serious happened off the pitch, either in the locker room or personal life. Teams typically don’t just release a player out right in mid-season. IMO. would like to hear other opinions.

      • I agree, if this does happen and Brooks is simply let go then something must have happened between the coach and him.

        Something else, the coach, in another article, was quoted saying that last year he accepted (put up with) Brooks’ inconsistency but this year , nicht mehr. That means that he can put up with Brooks no longer.

        I am as shocked as anyone about this.

      • especially when you consider he is under contract until 2017 and, as a 21 year old Bundesliga CB, has value. he’s currently worth about 3.5m Euros, so just letting him go would be terrible business. so if they do it, that would say everything about the relationship with the coach.

        i also see this quote in Goff’s article:

        “‘Whether he returns to the 18-man squad or the starting lineup is up to John himself. This will only work if he comes close to the maximum in training,’ Hertha Coach Jos Luhukay said.”

        so this reads like he actually has a chance to come back again. would love some clarification.

      • bryan, I must admit my German isn’t that great. Maybe how it was translated, “as early (soon) as Wednesday Luhukay will ……”, is wrong!

        I kept thinking why the “wie schon” and not sobald or so früh am Mittwoch? I now believe it was translated incorrectly and I think it should have read:

        As was done on Wednesday, sending Brooks to play for the reserves, Luhukay will forgo Brooks. Meaning only that Brooks will not be on the 1st. team for awhile.

      • yeah, this is a classic example of what happens when translations aren’t done right. i’m hoping we get some new reports soon.

  2. No one can argue about that Rooney red card. I think it would be ridiculous if anyone, not just Rooney, would fight it. I don’t think he could take himself seriously if he should fight it. Move along, Wayne.

    • Three matches for a professional foul? No sense fighting the verdict — he did what he did — but the punishment is excessive.

      • Three match ban, yes, excessive. I was actually talking more about the red card per se. Maybe because he was blatantly aiming for Stewart Downing’s inner leg/crotch area, and it was very reckless.

      • That foul was not a professional foul. It was a hot-headed, they-didn’t-call-a-handball-so-i’m-going-to-kick-him-on-his-leg-nowhere-near-the-ball temper tantrum.

      • Yeah, it was reckless. It not that he fouled him, its how he fouled him.

        He had options and he threw a kick towards the man’s groin.

  3. Zlatan is Zlatan. He didn’t do all that well at Barcelona on an individual level; and since he is Zlatan, there has to be some explanation other than Zlatan. Zlatan has chosen Guardiola. Guardiola is at fault for the enormous number of times Ibrahimovic missed sitters, skied balls or sent them wide without appreciable pressure, etc. It cannot be the case that Zlatan should take responsibility for Zlatan’s poor finishing that year, because Zlatan is Zlatan.


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